Long-term role of Alderney breakwater being considered

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OPTIONS for the future of the Alderney breakwater are being reviewed by Environment & Infrastructure, with the aim of establishing a long-term purpose 'beyond just routine maintenance'.

A spokesperson for Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services, a division of E&I, said the breakwater's historical importance had to be balanced against its practical use.

'Beyond the essential and routine maintenance, the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure is considering the strategic options for the future of the breakwater to ensure money is spent wisely and that Alderney continues to benefit from adequately sheltered harbour and mooring areas,' they said.

'The committee visited Alderney and the breakwater in July 2016 and met with Alderney politicians to start a process of discussion on the future management and maintenance of the breakwater, responsibility for which was passed to this committee by the States Review Committee changes.

'In earlier discussions with the Public Services Department (2015), the Alderney consensus was that the prime purpose of the breakwater was to provide a sheltered port, with other elements such as its historic importance being recognised, but to a degree being seen as less vital.

'At the time of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure discussions in 2016, the view from Alderney had altered to a degree, and representatives considered there was no single optimum purpose for the breakwater, but rather it was a multi-faceted situation, with no one reason being more important that the others.'

They said a policy letter should be drawn up and presented to the States in the summer following further consultation.

The breakwater's general maintenance and immediate repair needs are also set to commence in the next few months.

'The contract for the necessary inspection and repair work for the next few years will be put out for tender in the near future and, subject to the appointment of a successful tenderer, diving and associated works will be commencing as usual after Easter,' they said.

'As a separate exercise, it is also hoped that a hydrographic survey of the breakwater mound can be completed this summer to assess any changes in this underlying part of the structure since the last such survey, some seven years ago.'

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